Skincare Skills

by rocketman

Skincare blogger

August 26, 2021

Why is My Forehead Breaking Out

Red, painful bumps on the forehead are a common occurrence among people. Almost everyone has had a breakout on their face and forehead at some point in life. Forehead acne occurs as a result of clogged pores on your skin. There are many different causes of pore-clogging, including dead skin cells, bacteria, or excess oil that may lead to acne breakouts. We will look at some causes of breakouts and how to go about them to get back your clear and supple skin.

How to know the type of acne that you have?

  1.  Whiteheads
  2. Papules
  3. Blackheads
  4. Cystic acne
  5. Nodules
  6. Pustules

Types of Acne

It is important to understand the type of acne you are dealing with to find the best remedy for healthy skin. Some acne forms are inflammatory, while others are noninflammatory. Forehead breakouts can be in the form of the following acnes;

  • Whiteheads
  • Papules
  • Blackheads
  • Cystic acne
  • Nodules
  • Pustules
  • Pomade acne

1) Whiteheads

Whiteheads are noninflammatory facial acne that occurs on the skin's surface. Whiteheads are called closed comedones, and they occur when the pores get clogged by dead skin cells and sebum. The difference between a whitehead and a blackhead is that the whitehead is closed up, looking like a small bump protruding from the skin.

2) Blackheads

Blackheads are the most common forms of acne. The blackheads have their characteristic name because the pimple's material turns black due to oxidation and exposure to air. In addition, the material is exposed to air because, unlike the whiteheads, blackheads are open pores.

3) Papules

Papules are hard, clogged pores that occur when pores break down. Papules are bigger and more painful compared to the blackhead and whitehead forms of acne. Papules have no head and are more difficult to deal with because they occur below the skin surface.

4) Pustules

Pustules form the same way papules form. The main difference is that pustules contain pus and are reddish with a white head. Pustules are equally painful and form under the skin.

5) Nodules

Nodules result from swollen clogged pores enduring further irritation, leading to a larger and more painful bump. In addition, nodules feel harder to the touch than cysts and can lead to scarring if left untreated.

6) Cystic Acne

Cysts are clogs that occur deep within the skin surface, often deeper than nodules. Cysts are painful to the touch and form white or red bumps. Cysts are the largest form of acne and are often a result of a severe infection.

Causes of Forehead Breakouts

There are many causes of facial breakouts, ranging from both internal and external causes. Internal causes can be underlying health conditions, diet, and hormones, while external causes can result from the skin getting in contact with germs from the day-to-day items we use.

a) Skin Irritation

Your face and forehead are arguably the part of your body that you interact with the most. As a result, our faces are exposed to the environment, putting the skin at risk of getting irritation.

A common form of skin irritation is acne mechanica, also known as mechanical acne. This form of breakout is caused by heat or friction when an object rubs against the skin. When you are used to wearing helmets, bandanas, hats, headbands, and other forms of head clothing, you are at risk of getting acne mechanica. When the skin surface is continually rubbed against, the dead skin cells accumulated on the skin's surface can eventually clog pores. Blocked pores lead to forehead acne.

Studies show that cell phones are some of the dirtiest things we interact with. We watch memes during bathroom breaks, and when we get out, we wash our hands but forget to sanitize the phone. You probably do not remember the last time you sanitized your phone, if not ever. When we take phone calls or touch our foreheads after interacting with the phone, we transport bacteria to the skin. The bacteria then potentially lead to the formation of forehead acne.

b) Beauty and Hair Products

We subject our faces to skincare routine because the face is what we show to the world. With the recent developments in this modern time, our profile will open the door to the next interaction. Meetings are online, and we need to be at our best form when showing up. The face, however, does not naturally produce some of the products that are recommended for beauty. These artificial products can lead to a varied reaction by the skin.

Skincare routine involves a lot of layering and the use of almost completely foreign substances on the skin. Given that not all skin types are similar, some people might get irritations due to some skincare products. For example, oily skin and dry skin will react differently to the products. In addition, some people have acne-prone skin types. Due to this, adding styling products to the skin might worsen acne breakout on the forehead.

The forehead is at a very vulnerable position on the face. The forehead receives the most amount of exposure to the sun while at the same time getting a taste of both the skin and hair care products. There is a good chance that the forehead will get a bit of that when applying hair products. Have you seen the ladies with the "baby hair" line? That too happens on the forehead and temple. Mixing all this with the makeup makes the forehead skin prone to getting clogged up, and the chances to develop acne are higher.

Acne caused by hair products is called pomade acne.

c) Hormones

Forehead, acne can be a result of hormonal changes within the body. Hormones in the body can change due to puberty, pregnancy, monthlies, hormonal imbalance, and stress. In addition, certain medications can lead to a slight shift in the hormonal balance in the body. Whiteheads and blackheads are the most common forms of hormonal acne.

A rise in testosterone levels can lead to excessive sebum production from the sebaceous glands in the skin. In addition, high testosterone can cause abnormal activity of certain skin cells, leading to an infection of the hair follicles. The acne-causing bacteria that attack the hair follicle is known as Cutibacterium acne and can lead to the inflammation of the skin and the formation of forehead acne.

Fluctuation of progesterone can also lead to forehead acne. When the progesterone levels rise, the sebaceous glands in the skin are stimulated. Build up of excess sebum under the skin can cause acne. Adult female acne can be a result of menopause. During menopause, less estrogen is produced in the body, leading to a spike in sebum production and increased acne breakouts.

During pregnancy, an increase in androgen levels can lead to the formation of acne.

d) Sweat

Sweating is one of the body's efficient ways of getting rid of toxins. However, once the toxins are out on your skin, it is up to you to get rid of the dirt. If left unchecked, sweat will deposit toxins that will clog pores on the skin surface. The clogged pores then lead to acne breakouts. In addition, the forehead is bound to sweat a lot because it is the part that has the most exposure to the sun.

Sweating leads to excess oil production in the follicle. Some people have very active oil glands that lead to oily skin. Having sweat lead to even more oil formation might cause acne.

e) Dead Skin and Cells

Most of the reasons we have talked about above have a link to dead skin cells or toxins. The skin is a very active body organ. The skin regenerates and heals itself at a high rate, leading to the massive production of dead skin cells. Dead skin cells clog the pores, leading to forehead acne breakouts. As a result, acne-prone skin will experience worse breakouts compared to other skin types.

f) Food Grade Oils

Food grade oils like coconut oil and olive oil can lead to the growth of bacteria on your skin. This is an interesting fact, but these products are natural mean that they undergo natural processes. Therefore, more oil on your face is bound to lead to clogged pores and acne.

Treatment of Forehead Acne

Severe acne can lead to acne scars. Therefore it is important to deal with acne before it goes too far. Acne can be treated with over-the-counter products or prescription acne medication. In addition, you can treat acne by changing your daily routine on how you go about dealing with your face. Here are a few ways to treat acne.

i) Alcohol and Acetone

Alcohol is a mild anti-bacterial product. Since we can attribute most of the skin's trouble to bacteria, alcohol will do a good job of getting rid of the bacteria. In addition, acetone can remove oils from the skin, and as the sebaceous glands are at work, the acetone will be keeping excess oil at bay.

The downside of alcohol and acetone is that while they have acne-fighting ingredients, they dry out the skin in the process since acetone will get rid of the oils in the skin.

ii) Salicylic Acid

Abnormal shedding of skin leads to clogging of the pores. Salicylic acid helps reduce this excessive shedding preventing lesions and clogged pores. Salicylic acid needs to be continually used as the effect stops as soon as you stop using the acid.

iii) Benzoyl Peroxide

This remedy is believed to destroy bacteria that cause acne breakouts. However, the compound does not affect the production of sebum and the way cells are shed, and the effectiveness will stop once you stop using the prescription.

Benzoyl acid can cause dry skin and can bleach clothes. In addition, dry skin will make acne worse because of irritation.

iv) Retinol Gel or Acne Creams

Retinol treats acne by stopping the formation of pimples. Retinol increases cell turnover to unblock pores. The pimples may seem to increase before they eventually reduce due to the action retinol. You need to continue using retinol for 8-12 weeks to start seeing the results.

v) Antibiotics

Antibiotics will get rid of acne-causing bacteria leading to general skin improvements over time. Antibiotics can be oral medication and can have a form applied on the skin surface to get rid of the bacteria causing acne. Antibiotics applied to the skin will reduce breakouts, but orally taken medicine will do a better job in getting rid of acne. The medicine will circulate in your body, solving internal health problems and working more systemically compared to external medicine.

vi) Oral Contraceptives

One way of achieving clear skin is by taking oral contraceptives, especially when acne is forming due to excess testosterone. However, using contraceptives need a lot of care and advice from a certified medical practitioner because your hormone levels could be easily messed with, leading to more acne.

vii) Anti-Androgen Drugs

Like oral contraceptives, anti-androgen drugs bring back the balance in hormones, reducing the risk of getting hormonal acne.

How to Prevent Acne

Forehead acne can be prevented. The acne can normally be an issue with the internal organs, hormonal imbalance, the digestive system, or a poor daily routine. Face mapping is proof that there is almost always more to acne. Here are a few ways to prevent acne and end up with better skin;

  1. Rinse your face after a physical exercise to reduce the toxins that might lead to the formation of acne.
  2. Keep your general skin hydrated at all times to prevent drying out and flaking. Dry skin is prone to friction and inflammatory acne.
  3. Use a gentle cleanser to remove makeup once you are done with your day to keep your skin healthy and tender. You do not want to end up with even one clogged pore, especially not with foreign material.
  4. Drink water. Drinking water is the best beauty routine.
  5. Consider chemical peels to reduce the amount of residue on the skin. Use medically reviewed rollers and remedies.
  6. See your doctor or a board-certified dermatologist who can provide medical advice to help you with severe forehead acne.

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About the author 

rocketman

My name is Lydia Adams and I have been a skincare blogger in one way or another for many, many years.

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